There was much talk of what we call extreme UA on the site this week, particularly with the Superbowl looming large over the North American televisual landscape, and companies such as Supercell and uCool aiming to muscle in on the action with pricey advertising slots.
And, even with January drawing to a close, we've been looking forward to the rest of 2015 and what it may bring - whether that be in rise (or not) of the smartwatch, Microsoft's newly-announced HoloLens, or the emergence of a significant new market such as India.
- Following Pocket Gamer Connects in London, we identified the top ten trends that emerged from the conference - from extreme UA to the importance of video ads.
- Our Indie Mavens weighed up the tough decision between Steam and mobile - which is the better platform for indies right now?
- We spoke to Indian developers participating in Game Hack, an initiative which is currently touring India to highlight its best game makers, about the future for the country's mobile game market.
- GoodGame Studios' Caglar Eger discusses how the German firm approached the Chinese market with Empire: Four Kingdoms.
- Kirk McKeand talked to Australian studio Loveshack about the making of its iOS hit Framed.
- As Pocket Gamer Connects Bangalore draws ever nearer, we spoke to Hashstash studio about its hopes for the Indian market.
- We covered the growth of Anita Sarkeesian-led, non-profit organisation Feminist Frequency in the wake of the #GamerGate movement.
User acquisition, retention, and monetisation
- Brendan Lyall, CEO of GrowMobile, shared his thoughts on advertising mobile games during the Superbowl in a guest column.
- We took a look at the impressive performance of Terra Battle, a relatively niche Japanese RPG which has turned heads by hitting 1.5 million downloads.
- We explored how Apple's growing presence in China, noting that the wealth of Chinese iPhone owners makes them more likely to spend on IAPs.
- We continued our coverage of noteworthy games in soft launch by running down eleven of the best out there right now, from Spooky Pop to Godfinger 2
- We discussed the significance of Kabam rewarding its players with $0.14-worth of free content, as the firm begins "easing monetization requirements."
- A Fiksu report shows that the cost of acquiring loyal iOS users has risen 20% over the last year, reaching $2.10 per user in December.
- New NPD data emerged which shows that the average time spent playing mobile games is now over two hours a day.
- Superbowl advertising, that most extreme of extreme UA drives, continues to be a hot topic as Supercell and uCool line up their ads for viewers of Superbowl XLIX.
- The latest in a series of impressive numbers for Hipster Whale's Frogger update, Crossy Road reached 10 million downloads within only 20 days on Google Play.
- Despite revenue totalling 11 percent of EA's total game sales, EA Mobile saw sales fall 1% to $121 million in Q3 of FY2015.
- Best Fiends, the game that famously used PewDiePie as an outlet for creative marketing, now boasts a million daily active users.
- Kabam revealed that, despite its plans for 2014 to be a year of transformation to prepare for long-term growth, the firm's sales for last year were up to $400 million.
Tools & platforms
- Our VR expert Spanner Spencer discussed Microsoft's recently revealed HoloLens, and questioned whether it could trump the VR competition.
- Guest author Oscar Clark has been watching the watchmen - will the smartwatch be the tech that defines 2015, or is now not the time?
- We covered the new data from DAU-UP, which suggests that Android's game ecosystem is now as profitable as iOS.
- After being notoriously anti-Let's Play, Nintendo has now developed a scheme which allows YouTuber and platform-holder to share ad revenue from videos.
- Unconsole Ouya got support for Unreal Engine 4.
- We covered a report by analytics firm Adjust, which predicts "the death of the App Store" in terms of organic discoverability.
Funding, acquisitions, personnel and shuttering
- Social mobile gaming group FunPlus has hired Greg Essien, formerly Apple's App Store Game Manager
- Summoner's War is on its way to China, thanks to Baidu and 360.
- The rights to both Lumines and Meteos, two Mizuguchi-developed properties, have been acquired by Mobcast.
- Execution Labs has revealed five new studios from around the world have signed up for its accelerator program, covering Canada, Romania, and Slovenia.
- We covered the latest in a series of resignations at Rovio, this time from Jami Laes who's heading for something "interesting."
- 17173.com, China's leading gaming website, is thought to have been acquired by Tencent for $1 billion.
- Sega Sammy could lose up to 300 jobs in a restructuring effort which prioritises mobile and online.
- And finally, we covered the unexpected news of Alibaba's $10 million investment in the ailing unconsole Ouya.